The Jeep J6 idea is my almost-perfect match

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If the Jeeping world had a Tremendous Bowl, it might be the Easter Jeep Safari. Off-roaders from everywhere in the nation converge in Moab, Utah, to discover the beautiful surroundings in every little thing from inventory, classic Willys wagons to brand-new, modified Wranglers that appear like they may survive Armageddon.

The J6 is sort of good.


Emme Corridor/Roadshow

To rejoice this annual occasion, Jeep builds a sequence of off-road ideas. Some are throwback homages to older Jeeps, whereas others are simply off-road-modded to the max. This 12 months, following the launch of the 2020 Gladiator, Jeep’s six ideas had been all new takes on the model’s midsize pickup truck. And the one which stood out essentially the most was the two-door J6.

The Jeep J6 idea actually speaks to me. I’ve spent a whole lot of time within the new Gladiator and just about fell in love straight away, however what I really need is a two-door model. It is like assembly a man who’s this near being good. The Gladiator is already a chunk of cake, however I really need that icing, too.

Why it is higher

The J6 rides on a 118.4-inch wheelbase, in contrast with the 137.3-inch wheelbase of the Gladiator. For off-roading, this can be a excellent factor. The shorter wheelbase offers the J6 a breakover angle of 22.6 levels — a pleasant enchancment over the 20.Three levels of the four-door Gladiator. And that is earlier than you are taking the J6’s 2-inch carry and 37-inch tires into consideration. Each of these enhance the two-door truck’s off-road prowess much more.

Regardless of its shorter wheelbase, the J6 has an extended mattress than the Gladiator — 6 ft lengthy, in contrast with 5. Sure, the idea has a spare tire provider that takes up a whole lot of the mattress, however in idea, it is detachable, and even so, the J6 provides a ton of house to hold tenting gear, Ikea furnishings, what have you ever.

And look, I do know everybody thinks they want 4 doorways and two rows of seats as a result of they’re consistently going to must haul a lot of folks round, however for me, that is not an issue. I’ve a lot of associates, however I do not should be carting 4 of them up and down each mountain cross, leeching off my Food plan Dr. Pepper and consuming all my path combine. One passenger is loads.

Not with out compromises

This is the one massive caveat to the entire J6 package deal: It seems like a Gladiator, but it surely is not constructed on the pickup truck’s body. The J6’s underpinnings are shared with the Wrangler, which means that in plenty of methods, the J6 is not as succesful as a Gladiator.

The Gladiator has forward-facing Fox shocks for higher total load administration; the Wrangler doesn’t. The Gladiator has the identical Dana 44 strong rear axle because the Wrangler, however the pickup truck’s setup is 10 millimeters thicker, making it higher in a position to deal with payload. Moreover, the Gladiator’s five-link rear suspension setup, with higher and decrease management arms in addition to a observe bar borrowed from the Ram 1500, mixed with added reinforcements, means it will possibly tow as much as 7,650 kilos. The Wrangler — and due to this fact, the J6 — is rated to tow lower than half that: 3,500 kilos.

The desert of Moab, Utah isn’t any match for the J6 idea.


FCA

The Gladiator has one other ace up its sleeve: the Off-Street+ button. Within the four-door pickup, this adjusts the throttle, transmission and stability management parameters to benefit from the Jeep’s capabilities. In 4WD Excessive, drivers will get higher high-speed efficiency, for dune or soft-sand working. In 4WD Low, Off-Street+ takes issues in the wrong way, permitting the Jeep to raised deal with superslow, tough obstacles. The corporate’s Wrangler fashions do not but supply this operate, so it stands to motive the J6 would not, both. (Jeep hasn’t informed me by some means if the Wrangler will ever get an Off-Street+ button.)

On the paths of Moab

On a brief off-road course, the J6 appears like… effectively, like a Wrangler. I felt like I used to be again within the Rebelle Rally, the place my teammate and I took first place in a bone-stock 2019 Wrangler Rubicon. The one distinction is the decreased departure angle — just like the Gladiator, the J6 has an extended rear overhang than the Wrangler SUV.

The J6 is powered by the tried and true 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, good for 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Nevertheless, the addition of a Jeep Efficiency Components chilly air consumption bumps the ability up only a bit. This idea has all of the off-road goodies I may ever need: skid plate safety, entrance and rear locking differentials, sway bar disconnect and 4:1 low-range gear ratio. All informed the eight-speed automated transmission has a closing crawl ratio of 77.2:1, so I’ve large quantities of torque at low velocity. The pink rocks of Moab do not even stand an opportunity.

The J6 idea will get some aftermarket LED lighting to blaze the path.


FCA

Nearly good

Once I first laid eyes on the J6, it was a “Shut up and take my cash” second. Shade me disenchanted that the J6 turned out to be like a whole lot of the blokes I’ve dated: lovely on the surface, however not fairly as much as snuff.

The excellent news is that Jeep says the J6 was constructed on the Wrangler’s body and suspension as a consequence of time constraints, not technical issues. After all, Jeep will not touch upon the production-intent chance of the J6, however a two-door Gladiator has by no means been fully dominated out.

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is an exceptional truck. If the J6 got here to market with none compromises, I might swipe left in a heartbeat.

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